Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Flicker

God,

As demonstrators gathered to mark the one-year anniversary of their uprising, they brought candles.

There were chants. There were flags.

But this time, no dancing. No celebration.

Instead they marched to the port. To commemorate not a movement, but a tragedy.

Honor this, God.

Much has been lost in this year of protest. The value of currency. The savings of families. The lives of dozens; the homes of tens of thousands.

And for many, the legitimacy of the political class.

Society cannot function without politics, God. Governance is of your good purpose.

Aid their renewal, their reform, or their replacement – as your good will determines.

A top Sunni leader offered his efforts. Rejected one year ago, he will try again.

But the top Christian parties refused him. They side with the French who demand specialist government.

Some say they side for a particular ministry. Same as the Shiites a candidate before.

Addressing the anniversary, the president says change must be constitutional. Within institutions reform must take place.

But can it? What is the message of this year?

Submit and stay silent? Let us represent you.

All are corrupted? Let us tear it all down.

The nation is powerless? Let us wait for America.

The nation is hopeless? Let us travel abroad.

God, governance is of your good purpose. Bless all those inspired to take up the cause.

Their numbers exploded back last October. Their stamina dwindled the year that has passed.

Hope flickers.

Let these remain with it: Faith. Love.

Like the companions of Moses, they hold up the arms of hope. In prayer. In lament. In expectation.

Faith, that the nation can still come together. Love, for the effort that might make it so.

These three are needed, God.

Your light is needed.

Lebanon is needed.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.


Sometimes prayer can generate more prayer. While mine is for general principles, you may have very specific hopes for Lebanon. You are welcome to post these here as comments, that others might pray with you as you place your desires before God.

If you wish to share your own prayer, please adhere to the following guidelines:

1) The sincerest prayers are before God alone. Please consult with God before posting anything.

2) If a prayer of hope, strive to express a collective encouragement.

3) If a prayer of lament, strive to express a collective grief.

4) If a prayer of anger, refrain from criticizing specific people, parties, sects, or nations. While it may be appropriate, save these for your prayers alone before God.

5) In every prayer, do your best to include a blessing.

I will do my best to moderate accordingly. Thank you for praying for Lebanon and her people.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Return

God,

There is nothing new under the sun. But must the shadows reappear so quickly?

Two months after the port destruction, gas bottle explosions cost lives in Beirut. One here, two there.

Five months after the clampdown on smuggling, complaints renew about fuel lost to Syria. Lines here, limits there.

Twelve months after wildfires ravaged the mountains, new blazes rage from north to south. Consuming here, containing there.

And almost a year since protests drove him from office, a Sunni leader signals his readiness to return. Support here, scorn there.

God, is life in Lebanon on a loop?

But there is also withdrawal.

The Central Bank said certain subsidies will be lifted. To extend on essentials means other prices must rise.

As has happened already.

And thousands of youth seek refuge abroad. To find work at all they must leave all they hold dear.

As did many before them.

God, hold back the tide.

Fire is part of your good creation. Spare the enjoyment of all nature’s beauty, and the homes that delight in the work of your hands.

But as man adds to your nature, accidents happen. Spare the genius of cities from poor regulation, and the lives that depend on provision of fuel.

For greed ever threatens a godly contentment. Spare the nation the evil of ill-gotten gain.

Some say the prime ministry embodies corruption. Others that he is the hope for relief.

He promises working within French initiative. Millions in aid will follow reforms.

Funds that might permit maintaining the subsidies. Investments that augur creation of jobs.

God, you know his heart.

Imbue him—or whoever next takes on this role of leadership—with a commitment to your principles.

Strengthen all in the struggle of political life.

Bless all who have suffered from failures so far.

You make all things new, God.

That which was old, reused, and discarded. That set aside for a lust of the eyes.

Every idea that was mocked and disparaged. Every soul in despair things will ever improve.

The only condition: To return to you.

Revive Lebanon, God.

Lift her spirits.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.


Sometimes prayer can generate more prayer. While mine is for general principles, you may have very specific hopes for Lebanon. You are welcome to post these here as comments, that others might pray with you as you place your desires before God.

If you wish to share your own prayer, please adhere to the following guidelines:

1) The sincerest prayers are before God alone. Please consult with God before posting anything.

2) If a prayer of hope, strive to express a collective encouragement.

3) If a prayer of lament, strive to express a collective grief.

4) If a prayer of anger, refrain from criticizing specific people, parties, sects, or nations. While it may be appropriate, save these for your prayers alone before God.

5) In every prayer, do your best to include a blessing.

I will do my best to moderate accordingly. Thank you for praying for Lebanon and her people.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: On Hold

God,

Help Lebanon in the waiting. May it be a time of rest.

For many it is forced. The government put over 100 towns and villages in lockdown. One week entire, with nowhere to go.

And likely much more, without a government. Politicians spread blame when the French effort failed. It might get revived, but no signs are pending.

Some say Lebanon is on pause until American elections. Some say the country has no time to lose.

The Central Bank said that the worst is behind it. But the dollar exchange has renewed its fall.

Life continues, God. So does the suffering of many.

But could hope be pending? Might there be a line, finally drawn in the sand?

The maritime border is up for discussion. Lebanon and Israel will meet to divide.

A framework agreement is already decided. Each one their right to the natural gas.

Is there enough to revive the economy? Will it take too much time to prevent the collapse?

And will it be fair?

God, in this time of waiting, lead Lebanon to pray.

For transparent arrangements. For equitable share.

For warming relations. For a peace that is just.

And let this peace come also between the parties. Let them fight for their cause in support of the whole.

For national consensus. For strong institutions.

For a soon government. For thorough reform.

And to the degree necessary, American clarity. Set Lebanon’s path upon sovereign decision. Yet so much of the world awaits what will be.

It is not all America’s power of decision. Heal the earth of Corona, paralysis, fear.

For slowing its spread. For needed supplies.

For developed vaccines. For this plague to pass.

In all of these, God, there is little most can do but wait.

And trust.

And rest.

God, Lebanon needs it. Thank you for this pause.

If only on hold, then the pressure is building. Until resolution, the tension stays tight.

But there is life beyond lockdown. Play beyond politics. Love beyond lucre.

There is family. There is nature. There is you.

Things far more essential. Things far more secure.

Strengthen the nation to resume its struggle. Let no one grow weary in doing the right.

But now, give a sabbath.

Hold Lebanon close.

Amen.


To receive Lebanon Prayer by WhatsApp, please click this link to join the closed comments group.

Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.


Sometimes prayer can generate more prayer. While mine is for general principles, you may have very specific hopes for Lebanon. You are welcome to post these here as comments, that others might pray with you as you place your desires before God.

If you wish to share your own prayer, please adhere to the following guidelines:

1) The sincerest prayers are before God alone. Please consult with God before posting anything.

2) If a prayer of hope, strive to express a collective encouragement.

3) If a prayer of lament, strive to express a collective grief.

4) If a prayer of anger, refrain from criticizing specific people, parties, sects, or nations. While it may be appropriate, save these for your prayers alone before God.

5) In every prayer, do your best to include a blessing.

I will do my best to moderate accordingly. Thank you for praying for Lebanon and her people.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Hell

God,

Lebanon is not yet in the place of damnation. But the president fears it is not that far off.

Asked where the country is headed if no government forms: To Hell, he replied, as if it was clear.

And as if to prefigure—munitions exploded, of a Shiite militia which stored in the south.

For too many, hell is already here.

Food prices are rising 300 percent. Life savings evaporate. Fuel oil is rationed. Even an egg needs black market supply.

And then the prime minister-designate quit.

He insisted on experts to lead a small cabinet, with ministries rotating among all the sects.

But Shiites insisted on the file for finance. As long as some posts stay sect-based they must name their choice.

Government formation is back to square one.

Abandon all hope, as in Dante’s Inferno?

 The gnashing of teeth, as the gospels describe?

God, there is no hell where you are present.

Abandon not Lebanon, nor the people therein.

But will France?

Its initiative lies in tatters, though a Shiite leader still supports its content.

Will it sanction as threatened? Will it keep on hold contingent aid?

France warned that the nation risks disappearing. Will Lebanese citizens hasten this end?

Emigration. Obstinance. Rivalry. Greed.

Responsibility?

The world has its share, both East and West. Some see only a pawn in their regional game.

But God, strengthen your leaders to shoulder this burden.

Give vision to see the small glimmer of light.

And humility, to call for dependence on you.

Designate a prime minister to roll once more the boulder. A Sisyphus able to surmount the peak.

But with Lebanon snared in this form of perdition, hold fast the rock upon which they can build.

A city on a hill. A message to the nations.

A free land of liberty, welcome to all.

Let no one pretend, God. So few are hopeful. Hell is other people, so many despair.

You are a God of rescue, of ransom. What payment is needed?

Repentance. Confession. For each one, his own.

Grant your mercy. None deserve it.

Spare Lebanon, humbled, from righteous fire.

Bless all who serve it, wishing its peace.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.


Sometimes prayer can generate more prayer. While mine is for general principles, you may have very specific hopes for Lebanon. You are welcome to post these here as comments, that others might pray with you as you place your desires before God.

If you wish to share your own prayer, please adhere to the following guidelines:

1) The sincerest prayers are before God alone. Please consult with God before posting anything.

2) If a prayer of hope, strive to express a collective encouragement.

3) If a prayer of lament, strive to express a collective grief.

4) If a prayer of anger, refrain from criticizing specific people, parties, sects, or nations. While it may be appropriate, save these for your prayers alone before God.

5) In every prayer, do your best to include a blessing.

I will do my best to moderate accordingly. Thank you for praying for Lebanon and her people.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Rotation

God,

Is Lebanon simply spinning its wheels? Could success come instead by rotating portfolios?

A deadline to form a new government has passed. Agreed by political parties with France, France then said there is no deadline.

Will then the pattern of negotiation return? Will it be months until government forms?

Months in extension of Lebanese suffering.

Following US announcement to sanction their allies, Shiite parties insist on keeping the Finance Ministry.

Sunni parties say all ministries should rotate. No sect should have exclusive claim.

But finance is money, and money is power. Power to place or withhold a signature.

No government policy proceeds without it.

In possession do they dominate, God? In absence are they squeezed?

What is fair? What is right? What is good?

Not the paralysis that stymies formation. Not the insistence that prevents reform.

God, weigh the intentions of all foreign nations. Bless them accordingly, to the degree that they help.

But weigh also each sect in its various politics.

Do they seek domination? Do they need to be squeezed?

From abroad, from the people, from their consciences, God, help them find consensus.

For profit, for power, for patriotism, God, lead them to what is right.

Your principles of service, of sacrifice, of sharing.

Of salvation.

God does Lebanon run, only in circles? Is it only a gear, turned by agenda?

Plant her cedars, make them strong. May the birds of the air come and nest in their branches.

And may the people rest in their shade.  

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: More Fires

God,

Lebanon needs a government. Lebanon needs accountability.

In their absence, fires burn.

An alleged welding accident sparked the most recent blaze, retraumatizing many. They opened their windows, fearing a blast.

And in poured the smoke.

Every solution yields a problem.

Those who can, flee to the mountains. Those more able, take refuge abroad.

And some board a dinghy, desperate for Cyprus. Asylum seems their only hope.

But the West complicates also.

The French demand a capable cabinet. Their deadline is looming.

The Americans sanction accused politicians. Their reach is growing.

Every proposal undoes another.

Politicians jockey over portfolios. Donated tea is given to guards. Protesters rally against all complicit.

An audit of central bank finance begins.

God, the nation needs your cooling water. The nation needs your fiery rebuke.

Help Lebanon listen. Help Lebanon heal.

So many issues require consensus. Bring leaders together to do what is right.

They differ substantially over the vision. Keep sectarian interest from making them blind.

And of personal interest, God, hold them accountable.

Every sin compounds, corrupting the whole.

Be righteous. Be just. May the intersection spare the people.

But no one is innocent before you, God. Let each repent of their fair share.

Be merciful.

Let it not be too late, God. A fire consumes without discrimination.

You are a consuming fire.

Refine, but do not devour.

Remember the beauty here you have created. Remember your image stitched into each soul. Remember the freedom enjoyed by so many.

Let every heart burn, but only for you.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Pulse

God,

Can there still be life?

One month since the explosion, a search and rescue team from Chile believes it found a pulse.

Buried deep under the rubble of a collapsed building in Beirut, the dig requires utmost speed and all precaution.

Just like the rescue of Lebanon.

One month since the cabinet resigned, a reform or sanction president from France believes he has a plan.

With a schedule full of specific details, his roadmap requires difficult consensus and political sacrifice.

And to welcome his efforts, political leadership rallied to appoint a new prime minister.

Like the one before him, he is a political novice without popular backing. He pledges swift formation of a small cabinet.

Can he rescue Lebanon?

The protest movement rejected him as the next desperate patchwork solution of a discredited political class. But as their street mobilization wanes, they celebrated a civil society victory.

The World Bank pulled back funding for a controversial dam. Dismissing their fears over environmental impact, a politician lamented that Lebanon would one day need the water.

God, is Lebanon’s pulse at the level of thirst?

As inflation and poverty continue to plague, give each man his daily bread.

Give wisdom to the new prime minister. Increase his authority, as he follows your roadmap. Help him judge how it fits with the French.

And may Chile discover someone alive. But it now appears the pulse has faded. No survivors.

Thank you for hope, God, however fleeting. You rallied so many Lebanese behind them.

They long for a miracle. Give them living water. Give them new life.

Utmost speed with all precaution, God. Difficult consensus and personal sacrifice.

Keep Lebanon alive.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Many Consultations

God,

When there are crises, it is good to confer. In the abundance of counselors is victory.

But Lebanon has so many—crises and counselors—and Job was not helped by his friends.

Promote the friends of good advice, God. Establish the leaders of decisive discernment.

Men who understand the times, and know what Lebanon should do.

There are consultations on the border. The UN peacekeeping force will stay, with mandate to inquire of tunnels. But can they monitor infiltrations? Can they curb airspace surveillance?

Can they stop the conflict?

There are consultations on the outskirts. An Arab tribe versus Shiite elements. Can they quiet the friction of religious identity? Can they satisfy families for the blood that was spilt?

Can they forge a peace?

There are consultations on the cabinet. The French president comes with a possible roadmap. Can they distribute positions to honor their sects? Can they agree on reforms to unlock the aid?

Can they form a government?

God, when the world is swirling there is need for conviction. Not certainty. Not even consensus.

Lebanon needs men of courage. Of decency. Of character. Of insight.

Find a solution to the threats in the south.

Make humble relations between every faith.

Empower a cabinet to serve Lebanon’s interest.

Lighten the burden on the national soul.

God, in your mercy, hear the cries of the Lebanese people. In your sovereignty, call forth more.

Wisdom is proved right by all of her children.

In consultation, be fruitful and multiply.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Special Tribunal

God,

Fifteen years, waiting for justice.

A verdict: One guilty, three acquitted. No conclusion on the powers behind them.

Who assassinated the former prime minister? He did. But who else? Investigations proved a wide conspiracy.

And he is not talking. He is not even here. A Shiite party shields him from trial.

A Shiite party called it politicized, and would ignore the outcome.

A Shiite party—with Syria—were the powers of ‘no conclusion’.

So is it concluded? A Sunni party of the murdered prime minister vowed not to rest until the guilty are punished. Finally, there is a guilty.

They called on the Shiite party to make unspecified ‘sacrifices’.

Many in Lebanon have moved on, God. There have been numerous tragedies since then.

But what hope does the verdict in the last big explosion, give to this one?

Many are resigned. Many are leaving. Many say, ‘This is Lebanon’.

But is this time different? America says no aid until reform. Is it right to starve into solution?

Or is this time the same? Certain parties scuffled in political disputes. Is it right to scare into submission?

Fifteen years is a long time.

Thirty years since the civil war.

One hundred since existence.

What do you wish to summon from the Lebanese? Hope is hard to conjure.

Resolve? Fight? Wrath?

Is lament too passive? Is contrition too hard?

God, can you invite blessing? So many cannot even contemplate.

But so many are not needed. Let two or three agree.

Then loosen.

Shake free their chains, for three or four.

Let four or five plead on behalf of the nation.

Then five or six can pour out grace on them all.

Maybe six or seven can be healed.

Perhaps seven or eight can heal someone else.

Eight or nine could confront injustice.

Nine or ten could sweep the streets.

Ten or eleven might make a difference.

Eleven—or twelve—can change the world.

Even if one betrays. Even if one denies.

There are those who betray Lebanon, God. They choose their selfish interests. Restore them in repentance.

There are those who deny Lebanon, God. They trust only their own sect. Remove their fear, and reconcile.

Their numbers are many.

Let the few, bless.

And then multiply blessing, to draw many more.

God, twelve can be a tribunal. Lebanon is in the dock.

It is guilty, of course. All are, every nation. Evidence is overwhelming.

But your trial is not political. It is merciful.

Let these twelve proclaim your forgiveness.

Then God, loose in heaven.

Lebanon is a paradise of your creation. Let the people live it so.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: State of Emergency

God,

The nations encircle. The government falls. The army entrenches. The investigation begins.

Beirut still smolders.

There is great need for leaders, and Lebanon has many. Bless and guide them all.

The Christian president will not cede sovereignty, to allow outsiders assigning blame for the blast.

The Shiite speaker of parliament increases military jurisdiction, to quiet the streets.

The Sunni prime minister resigns his post, to protest corruption preventing reform.

But each sect has alternatives.

A Christian in opposition calls for early elections.

A Shiite in support accuses some of stoking civil war.

A Sunni in waiting backs an international probe.

There is another probe pending. A UN tribunal will soon give verdict on who killed his father.

While fallout continues over international peace. Two regional powers normalize ties.

God, the lines are sharpening. Too many crisscross the cedars.

Let truth be made known, whoever pronounces it.

Let order prevail, in each disciplined heart.

Let protest find outlet, till transparency comes.

God, shield the nation from foreign agendas. Welcome the aid, with all expertise.

But let every decision come from consensus. Let every decision conform with your will.

Hold accountable the guilty. Marginalize the manipulative. Redeem all repentant long given to cheat.

Lift up the nation through prayer and humility. Bring forth her leaders to do what is right.

At every level of leadership, God, give clarity. Give courage. Give conviction.

Give compassion.

Lebanon is truly a state of emergency.

Be its healer. Be its rescue.

Be its God.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Three Explosions

God,

The city is reeling. And with it the system?

Whether from negligence or sabotage, hundreds of thousands are hurting.

You are a God of truth. If the reasons behind the massive explosion are not yet known, reveal them.

You are a God of justice. If the people behind the terrible suffering are not yet identified, expose them.

But you have not been idle.

You are a God of compassion. Beirut is healing through an explosion of kindness.

You are a God of righteousness. Beirut is heaving in an explosion of anger.

To what end?

For neither has evil been idle.

Dozens are dead. Thousands are injured.

A spirit of paralysis grips too many. A spirit of division seeds mistrust. A spirit of destruction animates several. A spirit of accusation seeks protection from fault.

Manipulation. Self-interest. Revenge. Hatred. Greed. Fear. Sin.

Me.

Everyone is guilty, God. All can be redeemed.

Some are more guilty than others. Bring forth the men who will lead with repentance. Promote women of principle who honor their charge.

But beyond individuals, there is something that binds them.

Is it the system? Must Lebanon sideline its sects, or are they its strength?

You are a God of order. Keep the nation from chaos and guide to consensus.

You are a God of freedom. Inspire authority to let loose inspiration; create an environment that honors its gifts.

Let there be a fourth explosion, God.

An explosion of blessing—of hope and of life.

And then, let it settle in quiet humility.

Bandage Lebanon’s wounds.

Build up its strength.

Sweep up its glass.

Imagine the message if all come together.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Jocelyne Khoueiry

God,

May she rest in peace.

May her nation simply rest.

Compelled by civil war, the young woman took up arms to defend her people.

She later laid them down, as religion moved from identity to faith.

God, does Lebanon need the same?

Can faith demand arms? Is identity for sect or nation?

Which do you desire first?

The Maronite patriarch continued his call for neutrality. The Shiite mufti called it impossible.

Their evidence is the same: Lebanon is surrounded by regional trouble.

Trouble that again spilled over the border.

Claiming infiltration by a Shiite militia, Israel exchanged fire and launched cross-border shells.

The militia denied anything happened at all.

But it will. Their dead fighter in Syria demands retribution.

And if it comes, Israel pledges destruction of infrastructure. The price will be high.

Who benefits? Who wins? Does faith demand arms? Does fidelity to nation?

Does neutrality?

God, guide Lebanon in the necessary discussion.

Calm the region, with justice and peace.

Restore the economy, for fuel and food.

Reform the government, in all transparency.

Convict the heart, to make amends.

The courage of Khoueiry transformed to conviction. Her earlier certainty shifted to service.

Even as killing continued.

Honor her, God, both former and latter. Honor her enemies, who risked life for their cause.

And today honor all, as they repeat the cycle.

Until one day all swords become plowshares. And all men in fullness give honor to you.

May she rest in peace. May she inspire the same.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Rising Tensions

God,

Lebanon feels on the precipice. Perhaps it has already fallen.

Is there a cushion? What impact awaits?

And who will be there to pick up the pieces?

The Maronite patriarch continued his call for neutrality. The president shelved it for other priorities, while a Shiite sheikh said resistance is necessary.

The French welcomed his efforts, urging reform. They then promised aid to the French language schools.

An Israeli strike in Syria killed a Lebanese member of a Shiite militia. They then beefed up the border, following vows to retaliate.

An American fighter in Syria buzzed a civilian flight in route from Iran. Frightened passengers reported injuries from the sudden turbulence.

The government agreed on a central bank audit. An IMF source said officials are stalling, while a judge put a freeze on the governor’s wealth—in advance.

Coronavirus cases continued their steady tick upward. So did unemployment, and the rate of inflation.

God, what happens next? What should?

If a call to neutrality serves to divide, is it of you? Many meddle in Lebanon; do you also have favorites?

And inside of Lebanon, is there solution? If money dries up, what about medicine?

Some citizens weep. Others go dance.

You ask your people to be with them both.

God, bless this nation.

Give it wisdom to distance from regional tensions. Give it strength to support every cause that is just.

Give it discernment, to judge well its friends.

God, bless these people.

Give them commitment to weed out corruption. Give them repentance for personal share.

Give them your healing, in body and soul.

If tensions are rising, God, perhaps you are moving. Perhaps you’ll divide the wheat and the tares.

Be merciful. Be just. Be gentle.

Lift the nation. Unite it together.

Guide it to righteousness. Guide it to peace.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Lebanon Prayer: Patriarch’s Plea

God,

Lebanon is a small state. Yet it is full of many peoples.

Sects—to be fair. They are one people. Or are they?

Since its inception Lebanon has struggled to craft an identity.

Is it European? Is it Arab? Is it Syrian? Is it Phoenician?  

Is it free?

So to be free they struck a pact. West and East, a bridge between.

And many then trampled upon it.

God in these times of trouble, strengthen Lebanon’s foundations.

The leader of one sect put forward his vision. The Maronite patriarch called for neutrality.

And again. And again. Forcefully.

And then he labeled a culprit. A Shiite party holds hegemony, pulling the nation East.

Is he right?

Should he speak?

The Shiite cleric says they defend the nation from the South. They have no objection to help from the West.

Others in Lebanon say sects are the problem. Let men of religion stick to their faith.

Two politicians of a Christian sect formed a national salvation front, calling for more protests.

And from the original protest movement, several formed a national civil front, urging the same.

Many answered. Far fewer than before.

God, bless the patriarch. He calls to what he believes is Lebanon’s founding.

Its original pact.

As a cleric, honor him in defense of his sect. And direct him as he seeks to transcend it.

Bless the Shiite party. They call to what they believe is Lebanon’s interest.

Its essential resistance.

As a cleric, honor him in defense of his sect. And direct him as he seeks to transcend it.

And for those who find ill in the sects to begin with, or those who condemn the political class, or any in public who work for their nation—bless them also.

Where their cause is just—rally them in peace and unity.

Where they find a better way—commit them to paths of inclusive reform.

God, many in Lebanon have a plea. Most call out for the common good. Some—with daily increase—are in dire need of individual rescue.

Give Lebanon consensus. Give Lebanon sovereignty.

Span the gulf between the peoples with the bridge of your favor. Make them one, as you are one.

Amen.


Lebanon Prayer places before God the major events of the previous week, asking his favor for the nation living through them.

It seeks for values common to all, however differently some might apply them. It honors all who strive on her behalf, however suspect some may find them.

It offers no solutions, but desires peace, justice, and reconciliation. It favors no party, but seeks transparency, consensus, and national sovereignty.

How God sorts these out is his business. Consider joining in prayer that God will bless the people and establish his principles, from which all our approximations derive.

Categories
Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Universities

Flag Cross Quran

God,

If protesting has waned on the streets, it has waxed in the universities. Fueled first by some in their support for Morsi, they were joined by others in opposition to a law against protesting. Still others rallied simply because police entered the campus to put it all down.

A last group, presumably the largest and not protesting, just wants to study. Actions by the former make this difficult, whether peaceful or provocative, and perhaps even criminal.

God, the problems of Egypt are well known and offered to your sovereign will. But students are a unique group in confronting these problems. Young, they are without the responsibilities that hold others back from full scale dedication. Intelligent, they see the issues others disregard and imagine solutions. Idealistic, they believe they can make a difference and forswear compromise. Perhaps naive, they may lack wisdom to know if their chosen path of activism will yield positive results.

Bless them, God. These, even the last, are your gifts to them. Their energy, their creativity, their hope, and their single-mindedness are virtues which can serve the people. Their elders have different gifts, some of which must check youthful passion.

In this current confrontation, God, weigh well between the two. Give humility to all that these virtues not be pushed into ugliness. Youth becomes narcissism, intelligence pride, idealism fantasy, and naiveté exploitation.

These may even be traits they learn from their elders. Break this cycle, God, for every youth ages. Students become leaders. Now is still a decisive moment in Egypt’s transition, even if only the universities rage. Honor their passion, and hone it for good.

For this moment may or may not call for their particular gifts. To know, youth and elders would do well to collaborate. University is as good a place as any, perhaps better, to experiment.

And for those encumbered by the activism, give them patience. Give them room for their studies, and the respect of their peers. May their dedication remind all students of the privilege they have been given.

Some for the books, God, and some for the streets. Professors to shepherd the two groups alike. Bless the universities, God. May they prepare a generation that changes Egypt, now, and in the future.

Amen.

Categories
Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Constitution Open

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Egypt has taken its first concrete step forward since President Morsi was removed. By completing the draft constitution, set for a referendum in January, the roadmap for rebuilding democracy is underway.

But it is ill-defined. The constitution leaves open the order of elections, if parliamentary or presidential will occur first. It also does not determine the nature of the parliamentary system, if by individual candidates, party lists, or some combination thereof. These will be decided by interim presidential fiat.

God, constitutional delegates were unable to come to consensus, why? Are there power politics behind the scenes? Is there an explanation that is more comforting? Given the chance to shape one of the most crucial aspects of democracy – the parliament – the committee passed.

It may be, God, that Egypt needs a strong head of state, and power to determine these matters is being passed to the eventual holder of this post. Your principles, God, are higher than the details of political systems; establish one that is just, equitable, and transparent.

But do so transparently. Hold accountable those in the committee and those they represent. Hold accountable the government and the police and the military. They have been given a trust; may they prove faithful.

Within the document, for those that support the removal of Morsi in the first place, perhaps they have tried. Provisions for rights and freedoms have been strengthened, with the limiting language of religion largely removed.

Unless, God, this represents their weakening. For many against the removal of Morsi the language of religion is not to limit, but to protect. How much license should the state give to violate your law?

If it is. For others these are distracting issues of identity which mask a different problem: Many articles establish a principle, leaving definition determined by a law to come. Will parliament decide these issues wisely?

But now, God, the constitution is in the hands of the people. Help society to study well and debate thoroughly. Voting yes will continue the roadmap and potentially validate Morsi’s removal. Voting no is unclear in result, but requires a return to the drawing board.

Whether now or later, God, give Egypt consensus in her constitution. All is open.

Amen.

Categories
Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Protest Law

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Egypt may still be revolutionary, but if so it is now contrary to law. Perhaps every revolution is. Besides, there is nothing like a law to regulate protest to spark more protest.

It even brought non-Islamists back to the street. Many political parties and movements spoke out against its provisions, requiring prior notification, allowing security to modify or cancel, and imposing harsh penalties on violators. International bodies condemned as well. Revolutionaries tested it immediately, meeting tear gas and arrest.

Islamists, meanwhile, hit the street regardless. Though fellow protestors are not their allies, they are, perhaps, emboldened by the sight of others opposing the government as well.

The government, according to law, confronts them both.

God, society cannot continue forever in chaos. Nor should those with a word against authorities be silenced. Does this law balance appropriately? Or is it a tool to repress dissent? Even if so, do you approve for a time?

Give wisdom to the government, God. The revolution has unleashed a popular fury that will not be subdued. But it has also unleashed a powerful backlash that clamors for calm. Where should its allegiance lie?

May it be with that which is right. May they study the norms of human rights and craft a law for Egypt in consensus with national actors. If there is need to amend, make it clear to all.

Give wisdom also to these actors. All law enshrines principles and establishes precedent. May they know what is worth fighting for and if this issue applies. Help them to hold the government accountable, in a manner winsome for the nation.

And for those who remain outside the law altogether, give them wisdom in spades. They have made it clear they will not stop protesting. Should they demonstrate their peacefulness in compliance with the law? Might it work to their advantage, or just compromise their rhetoric?

God, so many are in a maze and subject to criticism no matter their choice. Bind them all to yourself in commitment to pure intention. Give all the confidence that comes from choosing the right over the expedient. Expose all who willfully deceive in pursuit of their goals, even if righteous. And bring together the men of purpose from all agendas who can hammer home a consensus with respect for all.

But if consensus was constant, God, there would be no need for either law or protest. But you counsel both for mankind, fully aware of our foibles. In both law and protest, then, may Egypt honor you. Honor her in turn, and give her peace.

Amen.

Categories
Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Tragedy Tripled

Flag Cross Quran

God,

The tragedies of this past week drove the government to declare three days of mourning. They serve also as a reminder of challenges, both old and new.

Twenty-seven people died when a microbus failed to stop at a crossing, colliding with an oncoming train.

Eleven soldiers died when a suicide bomber drove his car bomb into their convoy.

One security officer died when he was assassinated outside his home.

The first tragedy reminds of Egypt’s dilapidation. The last two portend of Egypt’s insurrection. God, fix and quell.

Fix the system that fails to build to code and perform regular maintenance. Fix the culture that avoids responsibility and allows corruption. And fix the human spirit that does not work as if unto you.

Quell the evil that will kill for an agenda. Quell the insurgency that targets the state. And quell the discontented spirit that places its own interests above those of others.

For there are many discontent, God, who have ample reason for their frustration. But save them from descent into either rage or resignation.

Give them hope, amid their differences. But give also the strength to resist the violence of those who force their way on others. And with it, give the greater strength of self-restraint and humility. Bring Egypt soon to consensus, that all would care for the concerns of the other.

God, tragedy often brings resolve. Increase it three-fold, that Egypt may prosper. Take the old, and make all things new.

Amen.

Categories
Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Morsi Speaks, Protests Diversify?

Flag Cross Quran

God,

Following the opening session of his trial, President Morsi was transferred to a public prison where he was able to release his first statement since he was deposed. He called his removal a coup, praised the people for their steadfast protests, and said Egypt would have no stability until his legitimacy was restored.

Meanwhile, the week upcoming marks the two year anniversary of some of the bloodiest protests from the interim period, when the military ruled and the Brotherhood left the revolutionary stage. Supporters of the current general are calling for a commemoration, but of the new unity between the people and the police. But it was the police who killed them, revolutionaries maintain, and the institution remains unreformed under any regime. They may protest afresh in counter-commemoration.

Will the protest movement widen? Will anti-Islamist revolutionaries recall their original ire against military rule? Or is it now nothing of the sort, and a true democratic transition is underway?

God, answer these questions in the hearts of Egyptians. May they hold their leaders accountable as they pray for them. May they join a consensual process as they protest all wrongdoings. Unite these dichotomies in both the diversity of the people and the uniqueness of the individual.

Give Morsi patience, discernment, and courage, God. He is frustrated, surely; give him hope. Judge both him and the nation, God, and bring both to a better place. Do likewise with all who support him.

Give patience, discernment, and courage to the revolutionaries as well, God. They have been frustrated for two years, having watched colleagues fall and justice fade. Will fresh protests renew their hope? Or has their hope come in newly minted unity? Reform the police institution, God, and show revolutionaries the best way to honor both their friends and their nation.

Protect Egypt, God. As she emerges after three months of a state of emergency and life under curfew, give self-discipline in place of security solutions. Amidst all her diversity in a cacophony of speaking, give her silence and reflection.

But whether within the din or its dearth, make the right voices heard. May yours be quietly audible, above all else. Then have Egypt’s roar follow.

Amen.

Categories
Prayers

Friday Prayers for Egypt: Delaying Constitutional Confict

Flag Cross Quran

God,

It has been three months since Morsi’s ouster, and the first step in the announced transitional roadmap is still underway. It is, in many ways, the linchpin. The constitution is to be amended and presented to the people in referendum.

When it comes, the Brotherhood will have to make a choice: Vote no or boycott. But the primary Salafi party has made their choice to participate, while deferring the choice of consequence: Yes or no.

Salafis possess nearly inconsequential power in the mechanics of the constitution: They are one vote out of fifty. But they possess great legitimizing power. Without them on board the removal of Morsi is much more easily portrayed as an attack on Islam, or at the least, Islamism.

In exchange they want the religious identity and sharia provisions of the old constitution preserved. As the committee of fifty does its work to revise, they tackle the easier questions first. These are left for later.

God, the Salafi party has been praised for having great political acumen; give them also great wisdom, for they are not necessarily the same.

As the Islam and sharia principles are debated one-by-one, help them to know where to yield and where to stand firm. Where, God, is the proper point of consensus?

And as they go back to their supporters, give them the skill to communicate their choices. Having earlier been maximalist in their demands under Morsi, can they now justify an accepted minimalism? Will it be a valuable political lesson for newly politicized religious conservatives? Or will their earlier rhetoric eat them alive?

Or, might you use these men to lead their supporters deeper into the multi-particular national good?

But God, what if the national good is non-Salafi, as many of the fifty will argue? Give them wisdom if they don’t get enough of their way, or anything at all.

Should they accept? Should they vote no? Should they demonstrate? Should they mount a new revolution?

So give wisdom also to the committee at large. What of Salafi demands is in the national good? To be certain this good involves diligent discussion of a significantly popular viewpoint.

Perhaps there is wisdom, God, in handling easier articles first. There is still time to complete their task. But help the committee to avoid deadline deals from political expediency.

Rather, let this discussion find space now in the national debate: How should the political claims of Islam, as interpreted by some, be incorporated into the political system of a nation, as experienced by all? In their entirety, in continual negotiation, or not at all?

Your answer, God, determines how Egyptians should both pray and politic. Pull as many to your side as possible, in sincere conviction and purity of heart.

And for those who remain in other opinions, honor them also. May they never willfully fight against you, and may they never be fought against as if on your behalf. Knit these together into one nation, where you are present in the messy workings of men, in all their insincerity and impurity.

And in this, God, give them a wise and worthy constitution. Do not delay the conflict, but resolve it in the end, with embraces all around.

Amen.